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My spouse and I live in California and we are planning to file as Married Filing Separately. My spouse withdrew from their Roth IRA early and will need to pay a large tax bill and penalty. Am I liable for my spouse's tax bill even though we are filing separately? Does how are filing status not matter since California is a community property state?


Expert Todd Alexander's Answer:

 Generally, filing in a community property state, such as California, requires you to split income and withholding equally.  Also, either both spouses must take the standard deduction or both must itemize their deductions on Sch. A.  You will be liable only for your portion of the tax liability.  Because you filed separately there is no longer joint responsibility on the total tax combined.

Todd Alexander, CPA


20 yrs experience

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